What is Body Conditioner? Here's what you need to know.

Dermatologist's Choice Founder, Dr. B weighs in on Body Conditioners. Here is what you need to know.

Can you explain what a in-shower body conditioner is? 

A body conditioner protects the skin the same way conditioners protect your hair. It applies a thin layer of oil to coat the top layer of the skin so that the skin is not a dry feeling when getting out of the shower. The concept of a conditioner can be applied before the bath or after soap has been applied to the body. Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil is applied before the bath or shower so that the skin is adequately nourished and conditioned. The hydrophobic (water fearing) properties of oil can repel water and harsh soaps that strip the skin’s natural protective layer.  

Can you speak to the idea that skin absorbs more moisture while it’s wet? Why would a body conditioner be beneficial in this case?
The evidence in the research has not supported this theory. Moisturizers are best applied to dry or mildly damp skin. It is not advised to apply moisturizers to wet skin because the water will interfere with the oil absorption. 


Can you speak to the benefit that a body conditioner doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin like a body lotion could post-shower?
Simply put, water and oil do not like each other. Water in the shower interferes with the absorption of the oil. Applying a topical oil while the skin is wet would make it difficult for the oil to “stick” to the skin; therefore, most of the oil will wash away during the shower. Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil is advised to be applied to the skin before the skin is saturated with water to eliminate the amount of oil (product) lost in the process and to maximize skin absorption. 


How can a body conditioner calm inflammation?
Oil secondarily decreases inflammation by nourishing the skin and restoring the skin’s necessary protective barrier. When the skin is in its optimal state, it can best combat irritations that would lead to inflammation. 


How can a body conditioner offer relief to stress skin?
Stressed skin is a way to refer to skin that is irritated. Skin is irritated by toxins or allergens in the environment and in the body. These include pollution, topical dirt, diet allergens, and hormone levels. Inflammation is your body’s natural way of fighting off these stressors. Inherently, inflammation is not bad, but over time can cause complications. When oil is applied to the skin it restores the skin’s protective barrier to minimize the skin’s exposure to external stressors. When the skin is moisturized, it is prepared to optimally fight off stressors. Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil is made with sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil and other natural oils that most closely resemble the oil naturally produced by the skin which allows for max amount of effectiveness. 


What are some other benefits of using a body conditioner?
Keeps the skin protected.
It moisturizes and has anti-aging properties, such as minimizing wrinkle appearance.
Plus, it gives the skin a healthy looking glow. 

Is there any harm in using a body conditioner too often (takes off a layer of oil on skin, etc.)
A body conditioner is a tool to restore the moisture back to the skin that is stripped by harsh soaps in the bath. The skin absorbs the moisture needed and the excess washes away. Therefore, there is no harm that can be done. However, if someone has oily skin then adding topical oil too often can increase risk for breakouts. When using body conditioners with bathing, one can judge the optimal amount of product necessary by assessing the skin post-bath. Post-bath, if dryness is still present then one should increase the amount of product used, if the skin has oily build up then decrease the amount of product used. The amount of product for optimal results can vary based on skin type. 


What ingredients do you recommend looking for in a body conditioner? What ingredients should we avoid?
When reviewing ingredients for body conditioners, look at the type of moisturizer (oil-based main ingredient) used and avoid added ingredients that may be moisture stripping. Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil is made with sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and other natural oils. Sunflower seed oil’s chemical composition most closely resembles the natural oil produced by the skin’s oil glands (sebum). This allows sunflower seed oil to be naturally more effective than other oils with larger sized molecules.

Secondly, check to see how many ingredients are used that do not work to achieve the product’s purpose. Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil is designed to retain the natural oil state to eliminate use of other ingredients that may counteract hydration. 


How do you recommend applying/using a body conditioner? At what point of your shower routine would a body conditioner be used (after cleansing/exfoliating/last step etc.)? Should we still use a lotion ones out of the shower?


The skin is most susceptible to oil absorption when dry or mildly damp. Due to this, the optimal time to apply a body conditioner is before the bath and after cleansing and toweling dry then returning to the shower to rinse. 

For individuals with excessively dry skin, it can be used as the final step after towel drying. 


Do you have any product recommendations for body conditioners?
We recommend Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. Its tried and true formulation has been used successfully and recommended by dermatologists for nearly 40 years.

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